Tag Archives: wall

Swatches on My Wall

I have always had mixed feelings on swatches, especially when need one just to figure out my gauge.  They take time to work up, when what I really want to do is jump straight into the sweater-knitting.  And, they use up precious, precious, yarn that could be used in the aforementioned sweater.  And, of course, I hate waste, and there is nothing as wasteful as a dumb swatch sitting at the bottom of a bin in my craft room.  Nothing. (Don’t try to tell me about rainforest deforestation, or the overuse of paper towels, or the oil industry.  Swatches are more wasteful.)

Well, friends, that all changed a few weeks ago, when I was doing my bi-monthly rummage through my knitting supplies, and I realized I had acquired a sizable stash of some pretty cool swatches.

And I found some twine and clothespins.

I had no choice, really.  I had to make a swatch display on the back of a closet door.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACool, right?  I plan on adding more and more swatches as I collect them.  It’s really fun to see all of my ideas from the last six months laid out like that.  Some of the swatches are projects I designed (see Grandma’s Sweater and the Sailor Jane Scarf in there?).  Some are ideas that I ended up not using.  And some are simple gauge swatches that I used for projects I made from other peoples’ patterns (there’s one for my Persistence is Key Sweater).

I might come up with a more permanent way to display my knitting ideas (frames maybe, or embroidery hoops?), but for now, I love the flexibility that my little “clothes line” gives me.  I can add to it easily, move things around, and if I need to take a swatch down to look at some detail, I can do it, no problem.  I love having my knitted “idea book” up on my wall.

What do you do with swatches?  Do you keep them, or do you unravel them?

Wall Shawl

On Monday, I told you how I love making lace shawls.  You’ll notice that I didn’t say I love wearing lace shawls.  This is because I am a pretty big tomboy.  I love how lace shawls look, and I love making them, but I always feel like a monkey in a top-hat when I wear them.

So, I had a whole stack of gorgeous shawls that did nothing but sit in my closet, waiting for moths to show up and start munching.  Something had to be done.  How could I display them?  I tried hanging them over my closet door, but then I couldn’t open and shut the door without them falling all over the place. I tried putting one over a table lamp, but that looked like something from a palm-reader’s office (and I was paranoid about setting the whole place on fire).  And, so my lace shawls went back into the bottom of the closet again.

Until I realized something.  These lace shawls were basically great big art pieces.  And my house was full of empty walls, begging for art to be put up.

I grabbed my Panache shawl and a dowel I had laying around (because I am a pack rat and have dowels lying around, just in case.  You never know.)  I carefully sewed the flat edge of the shawl to the dowel using a little bit of matching scrap yarn, and tied a big loop from one end of the dowel to the other.  I pulled out a sticky hook, and I  had filled my wall with lacy, yarn-y goodness in no time.  (And yes, I know this is a terrible photo.  Apparently I have forgotten how to take a decent picture that isn’t a close-up…)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy Panache is a medium sized shawl (about a 40 inch wingspan), but my Aeolian shawl, is a monster.  It’s at least 60 inches from point to point, so sewing it to a yard-long dowel wouldn’t fly.  I thought about it for a long time, and then the perfect solution came to me while I was doing yard work.

I cut some long (6+ feet) switches from one of the trees in my yard, and lashed them together with twine.  I added a loop of twine and hung them from a nail in my knitting studio.  Then, I looped the Aeolian shawl over the ends.  I really like how it turned out.   It’s pretty, and rustic, and if I ever want to display another shawl (or scarf, or sweater, or blanket) I can switch them out easily.